…Fault exclusion from reforms
By Adewale Sanyaolu
NIGERIAN oil workers unions under the aegis of Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (NUPENGASSAN) has called on President Mohammadu Buhari, to stop further sack of its members from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
The body equally faulted the decision of the Federal Government to exclude it from the ongoing reforms in the oil and gas sector.
NUPENGASSAN in a joint statement issued at the weekend and signed by PENGASSAN President, Mr. Francis Johnson, NUPENG President, Mr. Igwe Achese, PENGASSAN General Secretary, Mr. Bayo Olowoshile and NUPENG Acting General Secretary, Mr. Joseph Ogbebor, said while oil workers are in full support of the fight against corruption, the fight itself should not be turned against workers whom government swore to protect.
The union, however, urged Buhari to direct the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) Dr. Ibe Emmanuel Kachikwu, to stop the ongoing sack in the corporation while setting up a team to review his action for justice, equity and fairness to be determined, which it said, was what Buhari stands for. Indeed, the two unions warned that the ongoing exercise portends great danger in the oil and gas sector, if workers are meant to bear the brunt of government’s current action where the fight against corruption is now used as an act of vindictiveness against workers.
‘‘The ongoing exercise does not show any sign of tackling corruption or plugging leakages. We dare Kachikwu, to recover the stolen trillions of Naira in the sector, other than retiring and sacking innocent workers. We see the action as an act of cover up. We are quite sure that the ongoing action is not the idea of President Muhammadu Buhari,’’the statement said. Both unions argued that beyond their social partners status; they are equally strategic players in all spheres and areas of the industry’s operation.
‘‘In that regard, we have been making persistent effort to reach out to Buhari on the issue, but are being kept in the dark by those in charge of his protocol.
However, our commitments to protect and defend job security and welfare is our paramount and cannot be sacrificed. We shall approach as it becomes expedient whatever government steps and actions that are viewed as dialectical or capable of suppressing our missions and objectives as a labour movement,’’ the unions maintained.
NUPENGASSAN maintained that it was being put on the spot as representatives of organized workers in the oil and gas Industry to react to the manner that government is treading and the strategy introduced to carry out change is being implemented.
Indeed, the unions maintained that it remained regrettable that none of the critical challenges of review of industry policy and fiscal framework, cash call and counterpart funding obligations, stability of the downstream oil and gas sector, pipeline sabotage, oil theft, that was presented for immediate attention are now being given secondary attention.
The oil workers disclosed that the gale of abrupt loss of jobs currently sweeping through the NNPC is sending very wrong signals to its members throughout the oil and gas sector in relation to job security, thus making their members agitated.
‘‘It is pertinent to state here that this present administration promised job creation throughout the entire strata of the economy. However, actions like these are likely to have the opposite effect.
Source : SunOnline